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Four Americans on Man Booker long list as prize widens its reach

LONDON (Reuters) - American writers hold four of the 13 slots on the Man Booker Prize 2014 long list announced on Wednesday, the first year the prestigious literary award has been open to all authors writing in English and published in the United Kingdom.

The change that scrapped the old rule limiting the 46-year-old prize, which carries a 50,000-pound ($85,200) award, to novels written by citizens of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, has been criticized on grounds that Americans would come to dominate it, squeezing out other talent.

But in announcing the long list, Jonathan Taylor, chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation, said that by making the change, "the Man Booker Prize is reinforcing its standing as the most important literary award in the English-speaking world".

The prize committee said 154 books had been entered for this year's prize, which will be further whittled down to a short list of six books to be announced on Sept. 9. The winner will be named on Oct. 14.

The books on the long list are:

Joshua Ferris (American) "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour"

Richard Flanagan (Australian) "The Narrow Road to the Deep North"

Karen Joy Fowler (American) "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves"

Siri Hustvedt (American) "The Blazing World"

Howard Jacobson (British) "J"

Paul Kingsnorth (British) "The Wake"

David Mitchell (British) "The Bone Clocks"

Neel Mukherjee (British) "The Lives of Others"

David Nicholls (British) "Us"

Joseph O'Neill (Irish/American) "The Dog"

Richard Powers (American) "Orfeo"

Ali Smith (British) "How to be Both"

Niall Williams (Irish) "History of the Rain"

(Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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